- First Law of Energy -
We can neither create or destroy our energy, it exists within us, however we do have the ability to change our energy levels. Exercising is one way to do that. Think of it this way: "There you are, sitting on the couch, remote in hand, thinking, "I should be exercising. If only I weren't too tired to get off the couch!" Indeed, fatigue is among the most common complaints doctors hear. But you might be surprised to learn that experts say one of the best antidotes to beating fatigue and boosting energy is to exercise more, not less. It's now been shown in many studies that once you actually start moving around -- even just getting up off the couch and walking around the room -- the more you will want to move, and, ultimately, the more energy you will feel," according to Robert E. Thayer, PhD, a psychology professor at California State University, Long Beach, and author of the book Calm Energy: How People Regulate Mood With Food.
So why is it so hard to get up off the couch, get up out of bed and actually move, especially when it comes to early morning workouts? Well in most cases we are not setting ourselves up for success. We do not plan ahead and therefore, ultimately let ourselves down. We can have the best intentions, but unless we actually follow through, we often end of disappointing ourselves and feeling more lethargic than if we would have gotten up and fit our workouts in. I'm not going to tell you it will be easy, but creating a habit and routine is one way to ensure that you follow through with your plan. Here are 10 tips to help you begin creating a consistent morning workout routine that does not involve hitting the snooze button.
1. Go to bed earlier - This sounds easier than it actually is, I know, so start out by going to bed 10-15 minutes earlier each night. Then set your alarm for 10-15 minutes earlier each morning. Start with short, quick workouts and work yourself up to that 30-60 minute workout time frame.
2. Set out your workout clothes the night before - Heck sleep in them if you can. they are comfortable enough. By doing either of these options you cut down on the search for something to wear and are more likely to get that workout in.
3. Pack your lunch the night before - Morning routines can take away from our workout time, so don't let it! Pre-plan your healthy meals the night before so you have nothing stopping you and cutting your sweat session shorter than you would have liked. Plus an added bonus is you will have a great foundation for healthy eating all planned out allowing you to fuel your body and keep your energy levels up throughout the day!
4. Stretch before your workout in bed - It's so important to stretch our muscles and warm them up before a workout and cool them down afterwards, and we all know how hard it can be to leave our warm beds in the early morning. Well, if you focus on stretching your limbs in bed, it will give you that slow, gentle way to wake up that so many of us crave but never give ourselves the opportunity to actually do. Clear your mind, and set your intentions for the day during this time too, allowing positive thoughts to radiate throughout your day.
5. Pump up the jams - Not the kind of person that wants to wake up slowly and stretching in bed does not appeal to you? Set your alarm to some motivating music that will get you excited and in the mood to tie up those shoe laces and get moving.
6. Keep your alarm out of reach - Set your alarm for the time you would like to get up and start your workout. Place it across the room so you physically have to get out of bed to shut it off. By doing this, you are much more likely to get up and stay up because you have already started circulating blood at a more rapid rate through your body.
7. Drink up! - Drinking a glass of water before working out, it helps dehydrate your body after being without water all night. To make sure you do this, set out a glass of water by your night stand or close to your bed and drink it as soon as you wake up. Doing this will help energize and refresh your body.
8. Find an early morning workout buddy - This can mean a few things: either you physically meet up with someone to help keep you accountable to your early morning workout, or you can have a virtual workout buddy, someone who texts, calls, or messages you via the internet/social media. Having a workout buddy will lessen the chances that you will skip your workout due to the sheer accountability factor.
9. Turn to Social Media - Let others know your intentions and goals. Post pictures and ask for accountability and support and watch it come pouring in. Your friends may not live close, but their support can make all the difference.
10. Make a plan - Sunday night, sit down and write out your workout schedule for the week. Make it visible so you can constantly see it as a reminder of your commitment to yourself. I like to use post it notes and put them on my mirror with one of the days of the week on each one and the workout I will be doing on each specific day. It is also very gratifying to tear off each post it note knowing that you have completed yet another one of your workouts.
I wish you all the best of luck in your own health and fitness journeys, may you continue to grow and discover strength and courage you never knew was there.